DAVID SMITH - Thursday, July 29, 2010
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland will try to rebound in Randers from their Europa League loss while Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy will watch from the sidelines as Aalborg take on Copenhagen.
Randers FC - FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst will likely return to Nordsjælland's central defense on Sunday when the Wild Tigers head to Essex Park to face Randers.
Parkhurst spent the duration of Thursday's Europa League loss to Sporting at right back in a defensive shift by head coach Morten Wieghorst, but will likely slide back into his accustomed central role for Sunday's domestic clash.
The Wild Tigers put on a valiant defensive performance against the Portuguese power on Thursday, but were still resigned to come away with a 1-0 defeat, setting up a tough return leg on Thursay in Portugal.
They can still take heart that they put in a more consistently solid performance than last weekend's embarrassing 2-1 loss to SønderjyskE, which saw them gift their opponents the three points after having taken the lead late in the game.
Sunday marks their first away game of the young season, which could be an unusual advantage to the team as they scored seven of their 12 victories on the road last season, good enough for the fourth best traveling record in the league.
Randers are coming off of a rare low-point for the club over the last few months, giving up the winning goal to Swiss second-division team FC Lausanne only minutes after a dramatic equalizer by former MLS player Yura Movsisyan to put their Europa League campaign at risk.
They will be desperate to redeem themselves in front of the home crowd, likely making the team a dangerous proposition for Parkhurst and his fellow compatriots.
Nordsjælland coach Morten Wieghorst could be missing central defender Andreas Bjelland for the second straight game, after Parkhurst's usual partner in the middle of the back line twisted his knee in last weekend's loss to SønderjyskE.
Wieghorst will be pleased to have Canadian midfielder Patrice Bernier back on the field as he is finally fully recovered from an injury suffered in the team's Danish Cup final back in mid-May.
Aside from their bruised egos, Randers have no injuries heading into Sunday's game.
Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy both continue to work their way back from nagging injuries and will miss Aalborg's trip to reigning champions Copenhagen on Saturday.